AMA Wire

Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012

For Residents

GME slots would increase under proposed legislation

Graduate medical education (GME) slots in the United States would rise by 15,000 and a teaching hospital could receive up to 75 new residency slots if it meets certain eligibility requirements under bipartisan legislation introduced earlier this month in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) and Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) are co-sponsoring the legislation—the "Resident Physician Shortage Reduction and Graduate Medical Education Accountability and Transparency Act"—which was introduced Aug. 2 in the House. In addition to adding residency slots, the bill would require adjusting Medicare Indirect Medical Education (IME) payments by 2 percent based on a hospital's reporting on quality measures and the hospital's performance on those measures.

That means hospitals that do not meet the measures and performance standards would face a 2 percent reduction in IME payments. This is substantial since two-thirds of Medicare funding for GME comes through IME payments.

The bill also would require the Government Accountability Office to issue reports on GME and would require an annual transparency report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that explains how each hospital uses its GME funding.

The AMA supports increasing GME slots but believes there are challenges with tying quality reporting and performance requirements to IME payment levels.

Cloud storage app rated as most essential for residents

IMedicalApps, a publication that reviews and rates mobile medical technology, has a surprising non-medical choice for the most essential app for residents: a cloud storage app that enables physicians to store relevant medical literature and use it across a variety of devices.

Users of the Evernote app can share their stored literature with fellow Evernote users, including other residents and attending physicians. In addition to serving as a reference tool, residents can also jot notes in the app and later synchronize them with different devices. 

Whether or not you're an Evernote user, the article highlights the increasing use of technology in residency training and physician practice. As the next generation of physicians, residents will play an important role in shaping how technology will be integrated into medical practice.

The AMA also has a collection of apps aimed at helping physicians.